School rallies around Las Vegas teacher after cancer diagnosis

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Jessica Hopson is a first-grade teacher at C.C. Ronnow Elementary in the northeast Las Vegas valley.

Ask anyone at the school about her, and they’ll tell you how much she cares about the kids. She’s known as a cheerleader for Ronnow. And now, students and staff are cheering her on.

Michelee Crawford is the principal at Ronnow, which is near Washington Avenue and Pecos Road, just north of Freedom Park.

Crawford says Hopson means a lot to the school. And the school means a lot to Hopson.

Crawford says she has seen the many changes for Hopson over the years, including the birth of her two children.

But now a difficult change is ahead.

“We found out a couple weeks ago that Mrs. Hopson had in between stage 2 and stage 3 breast cancer,” Crawford said.

The news devasted the school.

“We have so many things going on right now,” Crawford said.

And one of those things is providing all the support they can give Hopson. Crawford is leading the way with a campaign to raise money. The school also helps with meal prep, and raising money with “Team Hopson” T-shirts.

Crawford is also offering to cut off her hair.

“I have long beautiful hair, so I made an ad campaign on GoFundMe that I would cut an inch for every thousand dollars,” Crawford said.

If the goal of $20,000 is reached, Crawford will shave her head.

Hopson, 40, is just starting chemotherapy this week. But before she did, she cut her hair and donated 18 inches to wigs for kids.

“I arrive to a beautiful school with awesome support,” Hopson said. “They are my rock. They really are.”

Every day, Hopson finds support in the form of messages from the school.

“Mrs. Hopson, we love you so much. You are a force to be reckoned with,” Crawford read.

A board at Ronnow Elementary School with messages for Jessica Hopson.

And thanks to support like this, she is pushing to get through this for herself and Ronnow family.

Crawford read more messages. “You are a warrior. You are strong. You’re brave. We love you. You can do hard things.”

“Yes I can,” Crawford said.

Hopson says she found a lump in her breast this past May. Since she had just stopped breastfeeding, she thought nothing of it.

But just a few weeks ago, she received the diagnosis. She needs to undergo chemotherapy, and she will have a double mastectomy and radiation.

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